Les Fradkin – “Escape From Earth”

Les Fradkin’s spirited “Escape From Earth” offers a beautiful marriage of electronica and classical in a swirling, spellbinding mix. A fully immersive experience, at times the album recalls some of Wendy Carlos’s best-known pieces. Highly visceral, the way the many layers intermingle results in a true exploration of sound. Stylistically, Les Fradkin draws from a wide mixture of genres, going from psychedelic to progressive rock, with elements of early techno and of course all adhering to a thoughtful classical underpinning.

Sounding absolutely timeless, “Presto Changeo” sets the tone for the album, opening up with a galloping rhythm and a wild carefree attitude. Playfulness pours from the ornate arrangement of the emotionally charged “Baroque and Roll” where Les Fradkin infuses a bit of tenderness into the proceedings. Giving Vivaldi’s “Winter” some love, Les Fradkin’s take works with the original to create freeing bursts of tremendous color. Building up quite nicely “Bach Rocks” chooses to rush through with a great amount of energy, serving as one of the album highlights. Rushes of beats come together on the hyperactive “Vivaldi Rides Again”. Akin to a great swaggering swinging rhythm comes the powerful “Ode To Joy”. “Brandenburg No. 3” shows a tremendous joy, allowing the song to unfurl in unexpected ways. Continuing down this path “Brandenburg No.5” moves into a triumphant groove. Huge amounts of color come into the fray on the muscular finale “Escape From Earth”.

“Escape From Earth” shows off Les Fradkin’s impressive chops in creating a soothing, surreal sort of world.